Saturday, April 20, 2013

Melanie's take on Lead to Succeed

Melanie, one of our project managers at Lead to Succeed explains how her group project is coming along and how their project is affecting her students and herself.

Our Lead to Succeed project addresses the issue of waste and pollution in our water. On this our third meet up, we focused particularly on the poor quality of the Milwaukee River and how we contribute significantly to this trash buildup that seems to increase on a daily basis. I definitely feel that this issue affects my life. I have learned so much from working with these kids about water conservation and management, and how to prevent my own waste from polluting our waterways.

            I also feel that this issue will affect my high school students. These students are learning even more than I am because they are completely hands on with this project. They are the ones finding the information that will be used in their final presentation and they are the ones coming up with different ideas for how they can showcase the amount of waste each person creates every day. These kids have grown significantly in the few weeks that I’ve worked with them, and even if they don’t end up changing their water-using habits significantly, they will think twice before they leave the sink running while brushing their teeth in the morning or taking that unnecessarily long shower after school!

As project manager, I am getting my team of students engaged and interested in this project by asking them to find how it is most closely related to them. When I was in high school, I always learned best when there was some type of visual or physical representation, so with these kids, we came up with different ideas of how they use and can then re-use water in their daily activities. The kids were especially interested in the project when they found out that they could talk about athletics and sports the importance of hydrating with clean, safe water.”

            As you can tell Melanie believes this project has and will continue to affect herself and her group of students. Lead to Succeed hopes that all of their students are as engaged and excited as Melanie's group!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What barriers have the teams faced?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

This week, the College Project Managers were asked to tell us how their teams are were coming along.  They also were asked to elaborate on their barriers that their team's are facing and how they will overcome them. Here's what they had to say! 
“My team’s project is coming along smoothly. There are still lots of things we need to get done, but we have come a long way. Our Lead to Succeed group has been divided into subgroups. The teams interaction with each other has come a long way and has helped with creating their game. They have begun to understand the software and so far it seems like a lot of fun. 

As a team, the students work together very nicely and have come up with some great collaborative ideas. 

The only obstacles we have had with the team’s success are absences.  A couple of the students have been absent a couple times which make for an obstacle but we ended up creating a team email when needed. We have used this in contacting someone to interview. That way if a student is absent, it will not hinder the rest of the group. “ 
Paula – PLI

“The team is progressing on schedule. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in such a short period of time! After meeting with a representative from a River Revitalization group for a practice interview, the team met with a local environmental leader to do the real thing. Using the interview skills and techniques we taught them in class and the questions we crafted they conducted a successful interview with someone from which they got valuable information. The interview will be a great addition to the burgeoning website. 

I’m Happy to report that the team, which is made up of a bunch of kids from a handful of different high schools, has meshed well together. Like any sports or business team, our group of young environmentalists and ambitious thinkers has set aside their differences for the greater good of the whole. The result has been one primary focus which has gotten us closer to our goal of contributing to Milwaukee’s environmental conscience. The students may come from different backgrounds, but they all share the same enthusiastic approach to working n our project. 

We have encountered a few barriers to team success. Unfortunately, my team partner Rachel and I have not been able to make that last couple of meetings. The students have shown a remarkable amount of determination and independence in our absence. Even though spring break and health concerns have gotten in the way of the meetings, Rachel and I have been diligent in our preparation and action with the program. We can’t wait to attend more meetings, spend more time with the students and continue our path to the end goal of a completed project. “– Michael - PLI

“Our team is making extensive progress over the past couple of weeks. After completing the interview questions we had worked on for a few weeks, we actually conducted 2 full interviews. The project is at its final stretch of conducting more interviews and then proceeding to edit them. The team is going above and beyond by meeting outside of the typical meeting days. They are meeting at different locations to conduct the interviews and are doing a wonderful job!

The team in itself is also progressing and continuing to work well together. They are complementing one another more and more as time passes. They are coming together to complete this project and are still working well under a time crunch.

Some barriers that we have come across are sound quality, in regards to the interviews, scheduling interviews with organizations, and the technology itself. These are all things that the group was able to overcome and figure out all together. This was one of many times that the group exemplified problem solving strategies. This group has shown massive progress and I am proud of them or their ability to work towards completion of this project.”- Rachel - PLI

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Savannah's first experience with Lead to Succeed!

One of our College Project Managers was very detailed in how her first experiences with Lead to Succeed went and with her new students. Here is what Savannah had to say:

“As a new project manager for the Lead to Succeed program, I originally envisioned an environment where students came for studies, homework help, but after my first session, I was pleasantly surprised. My students or “scholars” as I call them were distant at first, with good reasoning. Many of the students I work with have very few mentors to look up to and communicate with, so when I was introduced in our first session, I expected them to react with suspicion. After familiarizing myself with each student and making them feel comfortable with one another, I knew that my team was destined to succeed. We work together splendidly, taking turns and showing each other respect along the way, which assists in completing our tasks in a reasonable manner. Making personal connections is one of my biggest goals with my students; ensuring that there is trust, teamwork, and respect within one another. 

My team and I have decided to work on a movie educating other students about jobs and careers in the water industry. With Wisconsin being one of the most innovative and adapted water industries in the United States, it is crucial to educate our youth on new and exciting jobs in the water field to encourage schooling and training for these growing positions. My group and I have gathered information on several different water careers; and have conversed openly about the benefits these jobs have to the community and one another. 

So far, so good! My students have shown exceptional interest in environmental problems having to do with water and the lack of certified workers to complete the job. Working together, we completed a survey on our own personal water consumption, and began to think more critically about preserving what we have. We also discussed the importance of knowledge and education in regards to the environment and water, and came to the conclusion that many people in our community are unaware of these important things. 

One of our team members, Tony, has been experimenting with video making in preparation for our interviews and movie. A clip of one of his drafts, which was done on his first time using moviemaker will be uploaded soon for everyone to see. Go Tony!!"
 - Savannah - COA